Communist Party of Latvia
Communist Party of Latvia was a political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 in Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...


Latvian Social-Democracy prior to 1919

The party was founded at a congress in June 1904. Initially the party was known as the Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party (LSDSP). During its second party congress in 1905 it adopted the programme of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
The Russian Social Democratic Labour Party , also known as Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party or Russian Social Democratic Party, was a revolutionary socialist Russian political party formed in 1898 in Minsk to unite the various revolutionary organizations into one party...

 (RSDLP) as its own. At the Fourth Congress of the RSDLP in 1906, the LSDSP entered the RSDLP as a territorial organisation, and after the congress its name was changed Social-Democracy of the Latvian Territory.

The party held its fourth congress in Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 January 26 to February 8, 1914.

Rule in Soviet Latvia, 1919–1920

The party briefly governed the Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic
Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic
The Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic was a short-lived socialist republic formed during the Latvian War of Independence. It was proclaimed on 17 December 1918 with the political, economic, and military backing of Vladimir Lenin and his Bolshevik government in the Russian SFSR...

 in 1919; and changed its name to the Communist Party of Latvia in March 1919; 7,500 members in 1919. The youth wing of the party was the Young Communist League of Latvia (LKJS).

The LKP was a member of the Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

 (Third International) from 1919.

Underground and exile, 1920–1940

In the aftermath of the Latvian War of Independence, the LKP was banned in Latvia. Its leadership resided in exile in the USSR, while the organisation in Latvia operated clandestinely, either through underground cells, or via proxy organisations, such as "Red" leftist trades unions.

In 1936, a youth organization parallel to the LKJS, Workers' Youth League of Latvia (LDJS), was formed as a cooperative effort by the LKP and their former rivals, the erstwhile Menshevik
The Mensheviks were a faction of the Russian revolutionary movement that emerged in 1904 after a dispute between Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov, both members of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. The dispute originated at the Second Congress of that party, ostensibly over minor issues...

 Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party
Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party
The Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party is a centre-left, social democratic party in Latvia. It has a long history but is not represented in the current parliament of Latvia.-History:...

, outlawed following the Ulmanis
Karlis Ulmanis
Kārlis Augusts Vilhelms Ulmanis was a prominent Latvian politician in pre-World War II Latvia during the Latvian period of independence from 1918 to 1940.- Education and early career :Ulmanis studied agriculture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and...

 coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 in 1934.

In power in the Latvian SSR, 1940–1990

After the entry of the Soviet Army
Soviet Army
The Soviet Army is the name given to the main part of the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union between 1946 and 1992. Previously, it had been known as the Red Army. Informally, Армия referred to all the MOD armed forces, except, in some cases, the Soviet Navy.This article covers the Soviet Ground...

 to Latvia in June 1940 and the ousting of the Ulmanis government, the LKP and LDJS were legalised again and could operate openly.

In 1940 the party was merged into the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks)
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the only legal, ruling political party in the Soviet Union and one of the largest communist organizations in the world...

. As the Latvian branch of CPSU(b) it was renamed as Communist Party of Latvia (Bolshevik) P). When the CPSU(b) was renamed the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1952, the Latvian branch was reconstituted under the old name LKP.

On 14 April 1990, a pro-independence faction under Ivars Ķezbers split off from the LKP to form the Independent Communist Party of Latvia . The main body of the LKP, under the chairmanship of Alfrēds Rubiks
Alfreds Rubiks
Alfrēds Rubiks is a Latvian Socialist politician and a former leader of the Communist Party of Latvia. Currently he is the Member of the European Parliament from Latvia...

, remained loyal to Moscow and the CPSU leadership. Later that same year, on 14 September, Ķezbers's party was officially renamed the Democratic Labour Party of Latvia  and adopted nominally social-democratic platform.

Article 6 of the Latvian SSR
Latvian SSR
The Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic , also known as the Latvian SSR for short, was one of the republics that made up the Soviet Union. Established on 21 July 1940 as a puppet state during World War II in the territory of the previously independent Republic of Latvia after it had been occupied by...

 Constitution (1977) made the LKP's monopoly on political power in Soviet Latvia explicit. In 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia (formerly the Latvian SSR Supreme Soviet
Supreme Soviet
The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union was the Supreme Soviet in the Soviet Union and the only one with the power to pass constitutional amendments...

, now dominated by the Latvian Popular Front) voted to remove Article 6 from the Constitution.

Post-independence, 1990–1994

Following Latvia's renewed independence from the Soviet Union, the LKP was banned by a decision of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia
Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia
Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia was the transitional parliament of Latvia from 1990 to 1993, after the restoration of independence. The Supreme Council was elected on 1990 as the Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR. On 1990 it declared the restoration of independence of Latvia and began a...

 on 10 September 1991 as an organisation deemed hostile to Latvia's independence.

In 1994, the Socialist Party of Latvia
Socialist Party of Latvia
The Socialist Party of Latvia was formed in 1994 as a successor party to the Communist Party of Latvia, which was banned in 1991. In essence, the party is communist; according to the programme of the party, the LSP was founded as an organization upholding socialist ideas after the 1991 events that...

 was founded as the successor to the LKP.


CINA is a Canadian radio station, which broadcasts multicultural programming at AM 1650 in Mississauga, Ontario.Approved by the CRTC on April 23, 2007, the station is owned by Neeti Prakash Ray and began testing at 1650 kHz in late 2008....

(Struggle) was a newspaper founded in March 1904 as the Central Organ of the Latvian Social-Democrats. It was published periodically in Riga, Brussels and Petrograd. From 1919 it was the organ of the Communist Party of Latvia.

While the LKP leadership was in exile in the USSR during the interwar years and the Nazi occupation in World War II, Cīņa was published in the Russian SFSR. From 1940 onwards it was published in Riga.

In the Latvian SSR, Cīņa was one of the main Latvian-language dailies. In 1990, when the Ķezbers faction split from the main LKP to form the Independent Communists, they changed the name of the newspaper to Neatkarīgā Cīņa (The Independent Struggle), which after privatisation in the 1990s later became Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze.

The Russian-language sister publication to Cīņa published by the LKP was the daily Sovetskaya Latviya
Sovetskaya Latviya
Sovetskaya Latviya was a major Russian-language newspaper in the Latvian SSR.It was an official publication of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Latvia and the sister newspaper to the Latvian-language daily, Cīņa. From 1969 onwards, it was also styled as an official organ of the...

(Soviet Latvia); while the daily Padomju Jaunatne (Soviet Youth) was the newspaper of the Latvian Young Communist League.

In the Latvian SSR, the LKP also published a monthly political journal Padomju Latvijas Komunists (Communist of Soviet Latvia, ; in the 1940s and '50s: Padomju Latvijas Boļševiks), with a parallel edition in Russian (Kommunist Sovetskoi Latvii). The journal ceased publication in 1990.

First Secretaries of the Communist Party of Latvia

Jānis Kalnbērziņš: 25 August 1940–November 25, 1959 (in Russian SFSR exile, 1941–1944)
Arvīds Pelše
Arvids Pelše
Arvīds Pelše ; , Iecava, Bauska District, Latvia – May 29, 1983, Moscow) was a politician and functionary in the Soviet Union, an historian in his profession- Career :...

November 25, 1959–April 15, 1966
Augusts Voss
Augusts Voss
Augusts Voss was a Soviet politician and party functionary of Latvian origin. Before World War II he worked as a school teacher. In 1940 he was mobilized into the Red Army and served as a politruk. From 1945 he served as a party apparatchik in Latvia...

April 15, 1966–April 14, 1984
Boriss Pugo: April 14, 1984–October 4, 1988
Jānis Vagris: October 4, 1988–April 7, 1990 ("Leading" role of the party abolished January 11, 1990)
Alfrēds Rubiks
Alfreds Rubiks
Alfrēds Rubiks is a Latvian Socialist politician and a former leader of the Communist Party of Latvia. Currently he is the Member of the European Parliament from Latvia...

April 7, 1990–August 24, 1990

Second Secretaries of the Communst Party of Latvia

Žanis Spure  August–December 1940
Ivan Lebedev  1944–January 1949
Fedor Titov  January 1949–-1952 ?
Valentin Ershov  1952 ?–June 1953
Vilis Krūmiņs  June 1953–January 1956
Filipp Lashnikov  January 1956–January 1958 ?
Arvīds Pelše
Arvids Pelše
Arvīds Pelše ; , Iecava, Bauska District, Latvia – May 29, 1983, Moscow) was a politician and functionary in the Soviet Union, an historian in his profession- Career :...

January–April 1958 ?
Vilis Krūmiņs  April 1958 ?–February 1960
Mikhail Gribkov  February 1960–1963
Nikolai Belukha  1963-1978
Igor Strelkov
Igor Strelkov
Igor Sergeyevich Strelkov is a Russian footballer. He plays for FC Luch-Energiya Vladivostok.-External links:...

Valentin Dmitriev  1980-1986
Vitaly Sobolev  1986-1990

See also

  • Pēteris Stučka
    Peteris Stucka
    Pēteris Stučka, sometimes spelt Pyotr Ivanovich Stuchka ; b. in Koknese parish, Governorate of Livonia — d. January 25, 1932 in Moscow) was the head of the Bolshevik government in Latvia during the Latvian War of Independence, one of the leaders of the New Current movement in the late 19th...

  • Imants Sudmalis
    Imants Sudmalis
    Imants Sudmalis was a Latvian historian and later Soviet communist and partisan, the Hero of the Soviet Union ....

  • Vilis Lācis
    Vilis Lacis
    Vilis Lācis was a Latvian writer and Communist politician.Lācis was born into a working-class family in Mangaļi, near Riga. He was a manual labourer, mostly working in the port of Riga and writing in his free time...

  • Eduards Berklavs
    Eduards Berklavs
    Eduards Berklavs was a Latvian politician.Eduards Berklavs was born in the Kuldīga District. During his youth, he was active in labour and communist organizations. In 1930s, he was arrested and served a prison sentence for his communist activities...

  • Tatjana Ždanoka
    Tatjana Ždanoka
    Tatyana Arkad'evna Zhdanok, , born May 8, 1950 in Riga, is a Latvian politician and Member of the European Parliament and a co-Chairperson of For Human Rights in United Latvia; part of the European Greens–European Free Alliance group. Zhdanok is co-chairperson of ForHRUL since 2001...

  • Interfront
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